Project Leonard – Bar Clamp Chaos

Well this week I had some time off and was finally able to devote some overdue attention to some of my many on-going projects. First in line was my 3D printer build Leonard. It's been a while since my last Leonard posting, what with work, Koothrappali and Project Wave (coming soon) poor old Leonard has just sat in a corner collecting dust and er.... breaking!!! To my surprise over the approximately 3 month period since I last did some development, nearly all of the printed bar clamp parts have failed and those that are still in one piece, are showing serious signs of fatigue. ...more

Kinect Robot Power Adapter

Those of you who have been following via my facebook page would have seen that I have been toying around with the idea of utilising the power of the Kinect with my latest robot build, Koothrappali. In order to facilitate this however I first had to verify that I could run the system unmodified with my tablet and with a portable power source. Point one was easy to resolve, and after installing the drivers I soon had the Kinect up and running. Point 2 however, was a little more tricky, but also achievable via the development of a custom Kinect Robot Power Adapter. ...more

Interfacing a PSP or DS Touch Screen with Arduino

The following post demonstrates via an Arduino sketch the interface of either a PSP or DS Touch Screen with an Arduino Pro and/or Pro Mini. The PSP and DS touch screens are both 4 wire analog resistive touch screen's. This means by touching the screen at one point, a resistance between each edge is formed for both the x and y axises. As you move your finger across the screen the resistance changes between opposing sides of each axis. ...more

Koothrappali and the Arduino Motor Shield

In today's post I am going to kill two birds with one stone as so to speak. Primarily I plan to introduce the Arduino Motor Shield R3 and provide an accompanying tutorial, in turn also allowing opportunity to introduce you to my latest robot build, Koothrappali. After all, what better way to get to grips with a little code than with a practical example. ...more

Simple Serial String Parsing

One of the initial requirements I came across whilst developing with the Arduino platform, as with the Netduino platform, was the need for effective 2 way serial communication between both the Arduino(s) and my desktop. Luckily, the Arduino software provides several examples that can get you up and running with serial communication in no time. ...more

Project Leonard – Z Axis Coupling

Following on from yesterdays Project Leonard post, today I fortunately I managed to get a set of the Z Axis couplings I designed last night printed. If you haven't been following my RepRap build, yesterday evening I tried to assemble the machines Z axis and hit a small problem, when trying to attach the steppers to the 8mm threaded bar used to lift the X carriage. ...more

Project Leonard – Z Axis Issues

Well this evening I hit the first snag in the Leonard build. No matter how much I tightened the motor to 8mm bar couplers the bar would not grip. I even tried wrapping tape around the bar in order to increase diameter (yup a dirty hack) but alas to no avail (bad design and/or model implementation if you ask me). Eventually one of the couplers snapped due to purpose over tightening (not surprisingly) and this brought a halt to proceedings for most of today's build. The above image shows the snapped coupling. Despite this issue however, I decided to continue mocking up the axis so I could get a feel of how things go together ready for my next attempt. ...more

Project Leonard – Y Carriage Build

Well some more of the parts for the Project Leonard build arrived today, more specifically the RAMPS electronics. Inspired by this I decided to allocate an hour this evening to a little more of the build. I started by tightening and squaring off the frame. This step takes some time and would be nearly impossible without the aid of spacing jigs (fashioned out of some spare lengths of wood). With this achieved (maybe a little to tight in places) I then moved onto assembling the Y Carriage. This like all of the build so far was a fairly easy process that consisted of adding the two running bars and attaching the MDF base plate (via gluing to 4 slide on bushings). With this achieved and a little adjustment to ensure that the bed runs the length of the bars smoothly, I also decided to attach the Y stepper motor. ...more

Project Leonard – Frame Build

Time for a quick update on my RepRap build, Leonard. Some of my part orders arrived at the weekend (kudos to for great customer service) so today I finally started on assembling the frame and was pleasantly surprised at how fast everything went together. Utilising the Prusa build guide available at I managed to get the basic structure put together in around an hour. Everything now needs tightening and squaring up, but I'm more than happy with progress so far. ...more